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                                                              Welcome fall!
It's remarkable how with the turn of a calendar page, we suddenly see the end of the year in sight. There is still much road to travel and much to do before we close the book on 2021 but we feel the nearness much more than we did in August. After a fantastic summer, we're incredibly hopeful to see the new Gorges State Park Family Campground open up before the end of the year and we're thrilled to see the staffing fill out at the park. What an exciting time to be a friend of Gorges State Park!

We'd like to thank DD Bullwinkel's & Moose Tracks Footwear for becoming our latest Business Sponsor. We're proud to have this Brevard institution on board and supporting our missions! Stop in and tell them we sent you!
Flooding Update
We also want to offer a most sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated time or physical needs to the flood victims in our area. Fred was a force but our community is a greater force. Thank you for showing up and helping us move forward. 

Event Updates
We hosted two significant events this summer. It was a team effort that we are all very proud of. In June, we hosted the Annual Meeting at the GSP Visitors Center. It was a wonderful opportunity to come together and meet our new board members; meet the new superintendent, Kevin Bischof; and most importantly to celebrate our friends, Bob and Micki Andrews. 
We were also fortunate to host Director Dwayne Patterson of the N.C. Department of Parks and Recreation in mid August. He was joined by Deputy Director of Planning and Natural Resources Brian Strong and Deputy Director of Operations Kathy Capps. Also in attendance was Michele Wells, Executive Director of the NC Recreation & Park Association. We were joined by an outstanding group of leaders from more than 25 organizations representing various local and outdoor communities. FIND Outdoors, Pisgah Conservancy and Sylvan Sport were just a few who were represented. We were also very grateful to host Parks & Recreation leaders from Asheville, Hendersonville, Mills River, the City of Brevard and Transylvania County at the Transylvania County Library for the afternoon. 

We want to also thank the NC Friends of State Parks for the generosity in supporting this event.

Finally, a shout-out to our raffle winners, which were drawn a couple days after the event. They are:

Nicole Sweat of Mills River Parks & Recreation,
Joey Cagle of Waterfall Keepers,
Allison Dains of City of Asheville Parks & Recreation
Torry Nergart of Conserving Carolina,
Nancy Depippo of Friends of Ecusta Trail and
Ryan Olson of Muddy Sneakers

Read the recap here!
There is a lot going on at the park! We're still so happy to have Superintendent Kevin Bischof back at GSP. He has been a joy to work with and we're so excited for the future of GSP with him at the helm. 

Staffing Updates
GSP is fortunate to include Melanie Briley as a Park Ranger II. Melanie came to us from Goose Creek State Park in Washington, NC. She will be the lead Interpretation and Education ranger for the Park and will supervise the ranger who is the lead volunteer coordinator for the Park. The park will have a full staff for the first time in over a year once the Ranger I position and the Maintenance Construction Technician position is filled! Hopefully this will be completed by the end of the year. 

Bear Activity
Did you know there are more black bears in NC than in any other state? You can find this and many other facts, figures and tips for living in black bear country at https://bearwise.org or use the button below. There has been a good bit of black bear activity at Gorges State Park this year. The park rangers are asking that all visitors be especially vigilant and attentive to their activities while at the park. Safe practices are:

🐻 Keeping a safe distance away from the bear.
🐻 Make loud noises by clapping hands or shouting "hey bear'"
🐻 Stay calm by staying still or slowly backing away from the bear, do not run from the bear. 

Please report any bear sightings in the park to park staff at the visitor center. 

BLACK BEAR INFO
Trail Report
There was some flooding on the Auger Hole Trail after Fred and Ida but that has since cleared and all trails are open at the moment. It's always best to stop by or call the visitor center for the most up to date information available. You can also report any issues that you find while out. 

Events
The rangers are maintaining a busy event calendar in the park. Learn about Nature Journaling, Bear Facts and Canines vs Felines in the next few events. Get all the details here.
PARK EVENT CALENDAR
We are looking forward to the opening of our all new $5.8 million Family Campground very soon, which includes RV sites with full hook-ups, primitive tent sites and family-friendly heated/cooled cabins. Construction material delays are hampering completion but we remain hopeful that we'll have good news to share before the end of the year. As soon as construction is finalized and all of the necessary inspections have been completed, our campsites will be reservable on ReserveAmerica. Please keep an eye out on FacebookInstagram and our newsletter for updates! 
ReserveAmerica Reservation Site
Thank you so much to our friends, business friends, business sponsors and followers. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful environment. The flora and fauna is breathtaking but we also find ourselves constantly amazed by the community that continues to support us. We absolutely could not do it without you. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

COVID-19 UPDATE
As of August 20, 2021, face masks are required inside facilities at state parks.

Visitors who are not vaccinated should follow social distancing guidelines outside, including staying 6 feet away from others or wearing a face mask.

Our mission is exclusively nonprofit, charitable, educational and environmental. Funds raised are used to purchase educational equipment, to support Gorges State Park research, and to provide materials and facilities that contribute to park activities. 
BECOME A FRIEND!
Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species. Located in Western North Carolina, the park offers unbeatable hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding.
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